Car accidents happen every day from various causes, from distracted driving and speeding to reckless driving and driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs and alcohol. When it comes to recovering from a car accident, it is vital to know how the state handles the issue of fault and how it applies to your case.
Many states are no-fault states for car accidents, meaning drivers are expected to have their own auto insurance that will cover their damages after an accident regardless of fault. Texas is not a no-fault state and instead upholds the fault rule. This means that whoever caused your recent accident is liable for all resulting damages.
An experienced car accident attorney is an invaluable asset after any accident resulting from another party’s actions. Proving fault for your recent accident is an essential first step in the recovery process, and the right attorney can make this step much easier for you to complete. Once you have proven fault, you can proceed with claiming compensation for your damages.
The vast majority of vehicle accidents reported throughout the state each year are the result of negligence behind the wheel. “Negligence” is a legal term that defines any failure to use reasonable care in a specific situation. A few of the most common forms of negligence responsible for causing car accidents in the state include:
It is also possible for car accidents to occur from intentional and illegal actions behind the wheel. The most common form of this is DUI, and the at-fault driver in this type of case faces civil liability for the damages they caused, along with criminal prosecution from the state. Illegal activity could also lead to a larger recovery for the victim in the form of restitution and/or punitive damages.
An experienced attorney can be an invaluable asset when it comes to proving exactly how your recent accident happened. They can help gather physical evidence from the scene of the crash, witness testimony from people nearby who saw the accident happen, and digital evidence like cell phone records and traffic camera recordings.
Once you prove the exact cause of your accident and identify the driver at fault, you will be able to proceed with claiming compensation for your damages. This will entail an auto insurance claim followed by a personal injury suit if insurance alone cannot compensate you for your damages. For both of these options, an attorney you can trust will be an invaluable resource and asset when it comes to maximizing your final compensation.
A: No, it upholds the fault rule for auto accidents. This means that whoever causes an accident is responsible for the resulting damages, and the first step in recovering from any vehicle accident is proving fault. Your attorney can help gather physical evidence, digital evidence, and witness testimony to support your case and identify the party responsible for causing your recent car accident.
A: In most cases, auto insurance premiums do not increase for drivers who are not at fault for their accidents. However, every auto policy is unique, and it is possible for an individual to have their premiums increase according to the terms of their policy, even if they are not at fault. For example, if a driver has multiple accidents in a short period of time, they could see their premium increase because their insurance provider will see them as a high-risk policyholder.
A: The minimum coverage requirements for auto insurance in the state include $30,000 or more in bodily injury liability coverage for a single person, at least $60,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for all persons injured in a single accident, and at least $25,000 in property damage liability coverage. Drivers are also encouraged but not strictly required to have uninsured motorist coverage, which comes into play after an uninsured driver causes an accident.
A: It is technically possible to file an auto insurance claim without an attorney. However, if you have legal counsel you can trust advising you, it will make the entire claim filing process much easier to handle and more likely to yield positive results. Your attorney can help file your claim and resolve any disputes the insurance company raises, ensuring you receive fair treatment and a reasonable settlement offer.
A: If you cannot fully recover all your damages through auto insurance alone, you have the right to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver to recover the rest of your damages. Success with this personal injury claim will hinge on your ability to identify the at-fault driver and prove they are directly responsible for causing the accident. You must also prove the full extent of the losses you suffered and prove they did not result from any other cause.
The attorneys at Stevenson & Murray have years of professional experience helping clients with all types of vehicle accident claims. Whether you expect to fully recover through an auto insurance claim or you are bracing for a more extensive personal injury case, we are ready to provide the detail-oriented and compassionate legal counsel you need in this situation. Contact our firm today to schedule your consultation with an attorney you can trust.
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